A wonderful addition to any home heating system is a whole house humidifier. Humidifiers make the air more comfortable, help prevent dry skin and help protect your home. Even homes with radiant heat can be protected.
Your furnace produces hot air to be distributed throughout your home. As it heats the cold air, the humidity level will begin to drop. A lower humidity level will make your home feel cooler and may deem an increase in temperature at the thermostat. Using a humidifier will help increase the level of humidity and make you feel more comfortable.
As the outdoor temperatures drop so does the humidity levels in our homes. When humidity drops below 30 percent we begin to see the effects in the form of dry skin, static electricity and cracked lips. Low humidity levels also cause undue stress to hardwood floors, ceilings, walls, furniture, antiques and art.
The most common type of humidifier is called a bypass. A bypass humidifier utilizes your furnaces blower motor to move air across the water distribution panel. Water flows down the distribution panel and when warmed, evaporates into the air stream. Bypass humidifiers can handle homes that are tightly constructed up to 4,000 sq/ft. Though it is typically a good idea to have one humidifier per HVAC system.
Power humidifiers have their own fan to distribute the evaporated water into the air stream. These humidifiers can be used when there is not enough room in the ductwork to install a by-pass humidifier. Working on the same principles as a by-pass, these humidifiers can handle homes up to 4,200 sq/ft.
Have a boiler instead of a furnace? Your home can also enjoy the benefits listed above with a non-ducted humidifier. Typically installed in the basement from the above floor joists, this unit is connected to a centrally located vent within the living space. Self contained, non-ducted humidifiers have their own fan to distribute humidity.
A new humidifier uses little electricity and is very low maintenance. The water distribution panel needs replacement only once a year. Recommended at the beginning of the heating season when annual maintenance is being performed on the furnace. Be more comfortable this winter and help ensure your investment in your home with a new humidifier.